In a wonderful post over at the Technology and Learning blogs, Scott McLeod reflects on the subject of fear.
Specifically he wonders why American society reacts so disproportionally to the various hazards that confront us, often blowing a particular fear far out of context.
Scott’s starting point for this post is The Culture of Fear by Barry Glassner, a book that’s even more relevant today than when it was published six years ago.
At the end of the piece, Scott turns the spotlight on education related fears.
We would be much better off as a society if we spent less money and attention on sensationalist issues and instead focused on what matters: improving high school dropout and college completion rates, increasing the number of children who arrive at school ready to learn, reducing the growing segregation of students of color and poverty in urban school districts, more equitable school funding, educating children for their future rather then their past…
How much money do we waste on low-frequency, low-impact (but high-profile) issues? I wish that in education, and in America, we were more brave.
Courage is not an attribute often connected to education, but considering the stakes, it should be.